I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Sakiko Ito -- Himawari Musume (ひまわり娘)

On Saturday, I had just come home from watching "Spiderman: Homecoming" (good but not perfect) and having ramen at the suburban Sansotei (very good), so I mostly missed out on the annual "Omoide no Melody"(思い出のメロディー...Melodies of Memories)on NHK. However, I did catch the last several minutes of it which was better than nothing.

In fact, I had just set my bag down in my room when I returned to the living room and saw former 70s aidoru Sakiko Ito(伊藤咲子)performing a song whose melody fired off some memory engrams. It was her debut single "Himawari Musume" (Sunflower Girl) from April 1974. I knew I must have heard those familiar notes somewhere and sometime.

Yu Aku(阿久悠)really put on the gushy honey-dripping lyrics for "Himawari Girl" as Ito sings out a girl's confession of her being the titular flower while the boy of her dreams is the sun. Awww. Plus, Shuki Levy's(シュキ・レヴィ)down-home melody gets the old nostalgia going in listeners. The song peaked at No. 20 on Oricon. Ito's debut album from July 1974 also had the same title.

I found quite an interesting story about the composer Levy. During the 1970s, he and his partner Aviva Paz became a popular singing duo, Shuki & Aviva, in Europe but what wasn't written on the Wikipedia entry but written on the J-Wiki article was that they also had a measure of success in Japan with a few songs.

But then in the 1980s and 1990s, Levy also became a famous soundtrack composer for a lot of American cartoons including "Spiderman" and "Inspector Gadget". And that included the famous theme song for the latter series. Go, go, gadget pop culture connections!

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